How the “Advisory State” Shapes American Bodies and Politics: A Conversation with Rachel Louise Moran

In her new book Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique, historian Rachel Louise Moran examines the U.S. government’s efforts to influence citizen bodies, not through legislation or overt force, but through what Moran calls “the advisory state.” This political control stemmed from a “subtle but powerful … repertoire of governing… Read more →

Not the Doghouse: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Archives with Snoopy!

When the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company announced in 2016 that it was laying off Snoopy, a feature of its advertising, in favor of a “clean, modern aesthetic,” I felt like I was being sent to the doghouse myself. I’m not a Met Life policyholder, I don’t own a beagle, and I know Snoopy will still… Read more →

Black and white drawing of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, their heads close together, Luke's lips parted for a kiss, Han looking longing and confused.

Gays in Space: How an Archive of Star Wars Fanzines Helped this Queer Woman Live Her Best Life

In 2016, I drove nine hours from Tennessee to Iowa during my spring break to research homoerotic Star Wars fanzines from the 1970s–1990s. “But why?” asked many of my peers. Well, I went through a bit of a crisis in the last months of my master’s program. Not knowing whether I would ever be in… Read more →

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Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Lady Death. “We all expected to die.” Scope Magazine (1941-1957). Tear gas and the U.S. border. The story of the pile of limbs. The boy left behind in Nazi Vienna. Daisy, Daisy, the Cycling Countess. The forgotten abortion-rights activist. Presumed heterosexuality in the archives. Why… Read more →

Soldiers standing in front of a stone wall. One man breathes into a canvas bag.

Bearing the Brunt of Their Father’s Service: Ex-Soldiers and Child Murder, 1914-1935

In May 2011, British Lance Corporal Liam Culverhouse assaulted his seven-week-old daughter, resulting in severe brain damage and fractures to her skull, limbs, and ribs.1 She never recovered and died 18 months later. Two years before the crime, Culverhouse had been medically discharged from the army with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after he… Read more →

A color painting depicting a man in expensive-looking black and white robes performing an anatomical lecture with an audience in the background and a partially disected human body on the table in the foreground. The teacher fiture is indicating a part of a standing human skeleton and has a large book open behind him.

Medical Metaphors: The Long History of the Corrupted Body Politic

For the past few years, my Facebook feed has been full of political memes. Quite a few critique or satirize a particular issue or person, but many are about political corruption in a more general sense. Polls indicate that even before the 2016 election, Americans on both sides of the aisle believed that government corruption… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Light bulbs for beauty. Music from Auschwitz. The rise of hipster colonialism. The history and heroes of blood. How Christmas food got so bizarre. Bust enhancement in the 19th century. A history of dictionaries getting political. History, empathy, and medical education. Revitalizing feminism in… Read more →